Christi’s scripture Monday discussing God’s marvelous gift of grace which over rides sin from Adam’s time to present, says that Adam was a likeness of the Christ to come. In verse 14, the translation she reads uses the word “pattern.” (Romans 5:14) This principle of repetition of a theme throughout the Bible, (especially when the theme represents a symbolic picture of Christ so we can know for certain that he fits the pattern,) is one of my favorite ways to study scripture. Seeing the pictures of Christ is something Christ himself directed his followers to do. He often told them to look back at their own scriptures, which had been taught with extreme dedication to repetition of the things God taught them in the past. He said that they could see him in the Word.
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you possess eternal life. These are the very scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 5: 38-40 NIV
Paralleling Romans 5:14 in Biblegateway’s online resource, we see that various translations all use a synonym of the word which we would now call” picture” or “graphic”, but the implication of the writer is that this picture of Christ is repeated throughout time with the same image. It implies the ability to compare scripture with scripture to see how they have an image of Christ hidden within. So my favorite two translations use the words that more define this truth. So I like the word “type in the American Standard and the word “pattern” in the New International Version. When I write, I often use the term, “type of Christ.” I am referring to this principle.
King James says - who is the “figure” of him that was to come.
American Standard reads – “Type” of Him who was to come.
Today’s New International Version reads – “pattern” of the one to come.
Before reading Christy’s blog, I had been playing with creating graphics by repeating patterns. It occurred to me one night that if I took one eighth of a circle and drew a design along the axis, then repeated the pattern 7 times, it would create a circular design. I have used this concept in art for years, creating scissor cut paper designs, and geometric modern art which was popular in my youth. It is possible to make a pattern from one half and one fourth of the circle but detailed designs are difficult and time consuming. By making details on a smaller portion and allowing the computer to repeat the pattern more times, the resulting finished work is much better, and so much
faster. So with my head so into making patterns, this word jumped off the page, knowing I was already considering
doing a blog about the pictures of Christ in the scriptures. It is a difficult
concept to get people to see sometimes. But with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the Bible could look like one
beautiful image of God’s Grace through Christ, one God drew, by repeating the image of him throughout its verses.
All great truths of scripture are repeated throughout. If a pattern is repeated it becomes familiar. Sometimes so much so that we miss the original image for seeing the big picture. Christ and all of Gods truths are in the details, and are the exact same pattern in every case. From the very beginning, God overcame the sin of man with Grace. Even the shedding of blood was a picture of Christ giving his life for the redemption of ours. Grace supersedes sin to bring new life.
The opposite is the repetition of sin which leads to a spiritual death. Satan’s desire is that we fall into a pattern of repeating sin, so that it too will become familiar, or falsely beautiful. Think of how any addiction consumes one’s life. In the beginning it is a beautiful feeling, perhaps, that one repeats, initially with no concern for the imprint it will make on the brain. No one is thingking: this is going to alter how my body and mind will perform. But the repetition of the original act becomes a pattern, which if continued leads to death. The body cannot live by an addictive pattern. Patterns of habits within themselves aren’t bad. God made our minds to function by repeating what it learns – walking, blinking, our heart beat, hunger, sleep…almost every action is a repeat of an action learned or built into our DNA. Therefore, the mind desires to repeat other things… especially biochemical ones.
Therefore, if the brain has the chemical of nicotine it thinks it is supposed to repeat the act of having nicotine and creates a desire to go get it. It is a chemical connection, not a decision made, but it occurs due to a decision made to expose the brain to this chemical. The decision to Sin is exactly like that. So something like smoking is a picture, or type of a greater pattern of unnatural things in our life.
Satan took our God given blessing of patterns of life, which speak volumes about who God is, and he turned it against us. But Satan is not the culprit altogether. We make choices by freewill which kinds of patterns to adopt into our lives. The scriptures which recommend that we choose to live as God made us also recommend that we choose not to involve ourselves in things that will zap life, both physical and spiritual. Why is it that people think God is against them? God is for us, and reflected in us. The smaller elements of our life could reflect the original, the “figure”, “type” of Christ in us…and also, us made in his image. I like to think of myself as a repeat of
the pattern, us - as sons (and daughters) of the living God. Put all Christians together and the whole of the pieces
is the “church.” From God’s point of view seeing us as a whole, through his grace, we are one beautiful design.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 2:27
My Prayer today, Lord, is to ask you to open the spiritual eyes of our readers, to see the image of Christ in the scripures. But also to see ourselves made in the image of Christ. The pattern of your great plan of life, woven with care and repeated to make something beautiful of our lives. We praise you for the blessing and gift of Grace. Through that Grace you see us as a beautiful reflection of Christ, and a part of the circle of life as you intended it. If only we could see the picture of how you planned our life. Maybe we would do more to seek to be involved in the plan. Love you more every day, dear savoir. AMEN